In the 4th Century a Roman soldier named Ausonius wrote about the Moselle River,
“The fair Moselle. River, accept from me
These greetings – for your fields you’ve earned ovations,
And those who till them too; your fortifications
Match Rome’s. You flow beneath the scrutiny
Of vine-filled ridges. Ah, what verdancy!
How grassy are your banks! Like seas you’re strong
In ships, like brooks your wavelets dash along.30
Your depths like glass. In your swift babbling
You match all other rivers, furnishing
Fresh drink which rivals what cool fountains slake
Men’s thirsts with.”
Ausonius then goes on for about 500 more stanzas describing every aspect of the river including all the fish he likes to eat. It has been century since the Romans walked these hills but the beauty of the Mossel has not changed much. After visiting Trier, we set sail for the town of Cochem, a beautiful city on the river. The area was first settled by Celts but then conquered by the Romans. After the Romans came the Holy Roman Empire, not to be confused with the Roman Empire. The Holy Roman Empire started with Charlemagne and was centered in now what is Germany. It was during this time the Reichsburg Cochem or imperial castle was built and housed one of the Prince Electors who chose the Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. Unfortunately, the Castle was destroyed at the same time most of the Castles in the area were, when the French under Louis 14th, the Sun King (Versailles dude), conquered the area for France and knocked everything down. This Castle was later restored, pictured below, and is set high on the hill so offers great views below. Other than the castle the only other picture is that of the fountain in the town square. Every year during the wine festival wine would be pumped from below and flow out of the fountain. They recently stopped this practice for sanitation reason, but it seems like a cool tradition.